Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless Review
Published: 19th August 2021 | Source: Corsair | Price: |
Whenever we have a model from the upper end of the Corsair headset range we're always surprised at how different they all are. One would imagine that the very nature of headsets means that there is finite possibility, but the Void has triangular ear pieces and is aimed squarely at gamers, whilst the Virtuoso put all its eggs in the surround-sound film basket.
The Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless is probably the most well rounded of their offerings, combining their famous Slipstream Wireless technology with good battery life and fantastic audio quality to be the perfect choice if you spend as much time listening to music or watching films as you do gaming. The addition of Dolby Atmos and support for the PS4 and PS5 only makes it even more desirable.
Starting with comfort. The Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless has no weird angles or design touches, instead focussing upon giving you plush ear pieces in the familiar D shape. The band that sits on the top of your head is easily adjustable thanks to a very well designed Velcro fastening system. We've seen Velcro height adjustment plenty of times, but never has it been designed so neatly. The combination of those deep ear pieces, soft headband and, as we'll get to in a moment, beautiful hinges mean that the HS80 fits securely to your head and yet you can wear it all day long without fatigue. It certainly is a headset you're aware that you have on your head though. We know some headsets are very tight, and others are so flimsy that the pressure around your ears isn't evenly distributed. The Corsair HS80 though sits firmly but comfortably in place. The microphone design is pleasingly solid too. It has no adjustment beyond up and down, and unless you turn the woman off in the iCUE software you'll quickly get sick of her telling you that the microphone is off or on every time you turn the HS80 on. It is, however, placed perfectly and has crystal clear sound for a headset microphone. It's one of those headsets you want to buy for all your teammates as it's impossible to place it too close to your mouth and sound like a Dalek.
Comfort and clear speech are all well and good but audio reproduction is the killer feature of any headset and one that the HS80 handles with aplomb. In regular mode, just running via the iCUE software, the expanded frequency response brings extra fidelity to all of your audio sources. Despite being closed back and having all the tight bass one expects from an arrangement, the HS80 makes full use of its deep ear pads to give you great stereo separation and an airy feeling. Highs are soaring without becoming crystalline, mids drive hard, and the bass pumps. The clarity of each instrument and how easy they are to pick out in the mix speaks volumes about the quality of the HS80 audio. This clarity is even better in games where fast detection of your foes can be the difference between a long and happy life and a brief career snuffed out before its prime. Engage Dolby Atmos mode and there isn't another headset anywhere near this price that will give you such swift audio location and such a sense of existing in a 3D space. It's incredible. If watching suitably compatible media you'll be astounded at the natural but precise audio the HS80 and Dolby Atmos setup can bring. Far beyond any 'surround' headset at this price point.
We've only got a couple of minor niggles. It's a shame that Dolby Atmos controls can't be built in to the iCUE software, because the standalone app is fine but annoying to have to keep loading every time you want to make a tweak. Similarly although the charging is done via a Type-C connector the design of the surrounding port means you almost have to use the supplied cable otherwise it won't fit in the headset. Not great if you want to charge overnight off a different cable whilst you sleep to be ready for a full days play, unless you plan on leaving your computer on all night. Keep a close eye on that battery too. Our review model was moaning about low battery after about ten hours. We know not everyone sits at their PC all day, but some do. Lastly the wireless range is good, but not as long as some other headsets such as the Steelseries range. It's fine if you don't go too far but if you like wandering off to make a coffee without turning off your podcast then you'll quickly run out of signal.
Corsair have a good range of headsets to suit all pockets and use cases, but we think the HS80 RGB Wireless has trumped them all by being their goldilocks headset. Just as happy bringing you full surround Dolby Atmos media content as it is bringing you your Spotify playlist or just letting you easily hear exactly where everyone is in your online gaming exploits. Brilliant sound, extremely comfortable, it's worth it for Dolby Atmos alone.
The Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless has an MSRP of £139.99.